The department of Cauca is a region of Southern Colombia characterized by its rural population of indigenous peoples and beautiful coffeelands. Cauca is also home to the Asociación Kwe'sx Uma Kiwe Peykajn Mjinxisa - Fondo Paez, a cooperative of smallholder coffee farmers who are making a difference in improving their standard of living through Fair Trade. A history of colonialism, drug wars, and socioeconomic exploitation of the indigenous, rural populations has shaped the culture and economy of this region of Colombia. Farmers face huge challenges to commercialize coffee within this difficult context, but productive and communitarian projects like Fondo Paez are working to empower farmers and give them a voice and opportunity in the international Fair Trade coffee market. Fondo Paez as a cooperative of small farmers, providing economic opportunity to indigenous farmers through higher prices and productive services. The organization of small farmers has been recognized for its high-quality coffees. The cooperative is currently developing seed conservation and food security initiatives to further support members. Approximately 75 percent of Fondo Paez’ family farms are certified organic and they organization is already helping many more families transition to organic production methods.
Number of Members:
Santander de Quilichao